Bell Labs 1926-2008
"Increasingly, long-term research is being carried out in universities and national laboratories with federal grants," said an APS spokesman. This wishful thinking depends on shrinking college and federal budgets. Scientists are then reduced to wilfare cases, relying on the fickle spigot of government. To get grants one must fill out piles of paperwork. Only a few of the applicants will see a dime. Grants tend to favour those doing "safe" research. Scientists are forced to follow fashionable ideas like "dark energy."
Galileo, Newton and Einstein made their discoveries without national labs or government grants. Galileo did not finish the equivalent of a bachelor's degree, held a low-level teaching postion and was presecuted by mainstream science. Newton's greatest breakthroughs were made when plague exiled him from Cambridge. Einstein's first breakthroughs arrived while he worked as a patent clerk. To make fundamental advances in physics, all one really needs is a good pencil.